Search Engine 2020 2020-10-15
Most people just use Google as their search engine. It is so common that it is a verb, and that makes me sad. It makes me sad because Google abuses your privacy in order to make money. That sucks.
There are other search engines but frankly they struggle to have results anywhere near as good as Googles. I have tried most of them, and they do provide results, but so many times I have found myself not getting the results I need, going back to Google, and getting the results quickly. For a while I used IxQuick and StartPage but they had trouble with their search syntax and recently lacked transparency in an ownership change. IxQuick also just redirects to StartPage now anyways. It is possible [the last time I checked] to use URL based parameters to manage your search preferences at StartPage, but I just couldn't make it work long term.
I also got some mileage out of the Disconnect.Me search engine but when it stopped getting results from Google it kind of became obsolete as well. In fact, I just did a quick test and it redirected me (for my results) to DuckDuckGo by default. Even when I switched it to Bing results it redirected me to DDG. So, what now eh?
Well, I am currently using DDG for my search queries. I think the results are slightly less relevant than what I can get from the king of all search engines, but at least they are supposedly much more interested in my privacy. I do not like allowing my search engine of choice to store cookies on my machine, so I use URL parameters to manage my search preferences. In Pale Moon I can create a keyword bookmark like this:
The "%s" is replaced by "whatever you are searching for" and the various "k" parameters configure different aspects of your search. A list of parameters can be found here, and you can use as many of them as you like. For example, "kj=p" sets the header to purple, that way as long as I see the header in purple I know I am getting my desired preferences. Now I just type:
!ddg important stuff
and I get my preferences and a search for important stuff. Nice. For now.